NXT ON USA PRIMER 9/18: Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong, Killian Dane vs. Matt Riddle, Belair vs. LaRae vs. Yim vs. Shirai


PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)

SEPTEMBER 18, 2019
A New ERA of NXT Begins

A new era of NXT “kind of” begins tonight as the first hour of the broadcast will air live on the USA Network. Due to a scheduling conflict, for the first two weeks the second hour of NXT will air on the WWE Network as WWE looks to get a jump start on All Elite Wrestling which will debut their new television show on October 2nd on TNT. The live broadcast of NXT will air from Full Sail University which has been the home of NXT from the beginning and will continue to be for the rest of 2019. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuiness and Beth Phoenix will be calling the action for the show.

Looking to make an immediate impact on the USA Network, WWE has announced a big North American Championship match and a Fatal-4-Way match to determine the next challenger for the NXT Women’s Title. Here’s what’s currently advertised for tonight’s show.

NXT North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong
NO. 1 Contenders Fatal Four-Way Match: Bianca Belair vs. Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai vs. Mia Yim
Street Fight: Killian Dain vs. Matt Riddle (WWE Network)

Matches and Segments:

NXT North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle

Will this finally be the night that Adam Cole’s prophecy of the Undisputed ERA being draped in gold come to fruition tonight? Velveteen Dream has held the NXT North American Title since February after he defeated Johnny Gargano. Dream retained the NXT North American Title after he pinned Pete Dunne in a Triple-Threat Match which also included Strong at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. Dream told Strong to grab the spotlight to proves he deserves a one-one match. Strong responded by setting Dream’s couch ablaze.

You have been put on notice @roderickstrong. Courtesy of @velveteenwwe.

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) September 12, 2019

Amin’s Analysis: Undisputed ERA is the hottest act in NXT if not all of WWE. With this being the first NXT Championship match on the USA Network, I have no doubt that both Dream and Strong will go all out to leave a lasting impression. My question here is if Undisputed ERA leaves the show draped in gold where do they go next? Because if there is no clear path, would you have the coronation when there’s no competition from the other side on the first night.

Fatal Four-Way Number One Contender’s Match: Bianca BeLair vs. Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai vs. Mia Yim

William Regal announced that Bianca BeLair, Io Shirai, and Mia Yim will compete in a triple-threat match to determine the next challenger for Shayna Baszler. After being attacked LeRae questioned why Shirai was part of the match. After consideration, Mr. Regal added LeRae to the match as well. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top and challenges Baszler for the title. WWE hasn’t announced yet if the match will air during the first hour of the USA Network or on the WWE Network. My guess is the winner this match will challenge Baszler on the Oct. 2 show as AEW will be crowning their first Women’s Champion on that show as well.

This Wednesday at 8 PM EST on @USA_Network #WeAreNotYourKind #NXTonUSA #WeAreNXT

— 紫雷イオ、Io Shirai (@shirai_io) September 18, 2019

When I said “Give me @QoSBaszler”

This wasn’t exactly what I was asking for…
A FATAL 4-WAY No. 1 Contender’s Match?!
It is…What It Is…

Tomorrow Night @wwenxt goes Live for the 1st time on the @USA_Network

— Bianca Belair (@BiancaBelairWWE) September 17, 2019

Amin’s Analysis: My ideal scenario would have Shirai win and have her dethrone Baszler. Shirai turning heel has been the highlight of the NXT Women’s Division and she can have the best match with Baszler. I don’t think NXT will go in that direction considering they are both heels. I also think the LeRae and Shirai program isn’t over and could build to a big stipulation match. This Fatal-4-Way could just be a placeholder match until Dakota Kai returns as it was teased last week.

Street Fight: Killian Dain vs. Matt Riddle (WWE Network)

Killian Dain retuned to NXT and has targeted Matt Riddle. After week’s of some chaotic brawls, Dain defeated Riddle in their first singles match. But it didn’t bring closure to their feud as the continued to brawl outside the arena. Dain and Riddle will continue to settle the score as they will clash in a Street Fight during the second hour of NXT which will air on the WWE Network.

Amin’s Analysis: I liked this storyline because it’s completely different from everything else on the show. The chaotic aspect is working as they are tying to making this rivalry violent in a PG setting. I would like to see Riddle get a big win here, so he can get his momentum back and maybe lead to a championship match with Cole since Gargano is currently out of the title picture.

Social Media Hyping up NXT on USA

There has been tons of Social Media buzz hyping up the launch of NXT on the USA Network as everyone from Paul (Triple H) Levesque, to past and current stars have been praising NXT to create interest in the show. Levesque held a Conference Call to speak about the launch of NXT on USA. Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young spoke about the upcoming launch of the NXT on USA on Monday Night RAW. Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves also mentioned the launch of NXT on SmackDown LIVE.

NXT to air first hour on USA Network and second hour on WWE Network for the first two weeks:

On Sept. 18 & 25, the first hour of #WWENXT will air LIVE on @USA_Network and the second hour will stream live on @WWENetwork!

Here's everything you need to know about catching @WWENXT's first two live episodes:

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) September 5, 2019

Promotional Video from Triple H hyping up launch of NXT on USA Network

….GET READY.#WeAreNXT @WWENXT @USA_Network @slipknot

— Triple H (@TripleH) August 20, 2019

Experience NXT when it goes live

NXT Twitter Page hyping up launch

Adam Cole hyping up NXT

10 reasons why WWE NXT on USA Network is must-see

With #WWENXT’s debut on @USA_Network only days away, there has never been a better time to check out the groundbreaking brand on Wednesday nights! #WeAreNXT

— WWE (@WWE) September 15, 2019

Amin’s Analysis: The use of Social Media platform has been effective and is a good why to bring more attention to NXT. My biggest takeaway from the use of social media is the short promo mentioned there is “NO BS” on NXT. Could this be Triple H way of saying WWE TV’s main roster booking isn’t good but fans don’t need to worry because he’s in control of NXT. I don’t mind the Street Profit who have been appearing on Raw not mention NXT debut on USA because they’re characters are pretty obnoxious and could be a turn off for some fans.

Closing Thoughts…

NXT is my favorite show and I’m really looking forward to the launch on USA Network. The NXT roster is really talented and is top-heavy with big-name stars. I’m curious to see how the show is booked going forward and if the show loses some freshness with the top stars likely having to appear on a weekly basis. It will also be interesting to see if NXT UK stars appear on the show and if some under utilized stars from Raw or Smackdown appear on NXT. The first two weeks of the show should be fine especially since the second hour will air on the WWE Network. We will get a better feel for NXT once AEW launches.

Follow new NXT Primer author on Twitter @AminAjani.